July 3 2021

Did Flatland leave the Panhandle?

Yesterday Flatland Cavalry released their latest album. I cannot help but say that I miss that little Lubbock Based band that I grew to love.

I am listening to Welcome to Countryland, the new album by Flatland Cavalry, honestly I am not thoroughly impressed. Although, the album does have some sweet sentiments from Cleto Cordero’s roots, such as his poetic lyrics that shine out through some of the songs on the record, for instance the song, “It’s Good to Be Back (Round Here Again)”. Also, I can feel the love that Cordero has for his new wife, Singer/ Songwriter Kaitlin Butts during the love songs, “Life Without You,” and “Well Spent Time.” Kaitlin Butts offers much to the album through her backup harmonies on this album.

I am in total agreement with what the website, “Saving Country Music” had to say.

“Welcome to Countryland isn’t perfect. A couple of the harder songs still seem to not get the levels on the guitar where you would expect them to be for the track to punch.”

Saving Country Music

An old saying goes, You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. In the case of Flatland Cavalry’s third and latest album, I am not so sure that this saying rings true. Under the direction of the album’s producer, Jake Gear, and a new management team It seems that Flatland has evolved to the ways of Nashville and began to step out of the Texas Scene that made them who they are. Some of the songs on the album seemed to run together or even sound like something that had already been done. The musical arrangements were great with the fiddles and steels and guitar work, but the music at times seemed to over power the simple words from Cleto’s tongue.

I am not saying I totally hate the album, but I am saying is that it is simply different. In my opinion it certainly isn’t the best or what I know that Flatland Cavalry is capable of. I realize nobody gets it perfect every time.

I still feel that Cleto Cordero is an accomplished writer. He is a singer/songwriter who has much to offer the world of music. I just hope he remembers that Texas is where his roots are and where many of his fans would like to see him stay.

I know in my heart that Cleto Cordero is here to stay- he has a long career ahead and he isn’t done making good music. The kind of music I want to hear, for now I will take the good with the bad. I am just going to wait for the next Panhandler hit.

Pancho.

June 9 2021

No Ace In The Hole, Midnight

It has been over 21 Hours since Flatland Cavalry Tweeted: No Ace In The Hole, Midnight. I just got a chance to listen to this brand new song.

My first impressions of the music were the guitar rifts that sounded as If an Indian Warrior was chanting in preparation for his next battle. At three minutes into the song a haunting fiddle joined in. My mind instantly shifted to those fiddle soloists of yesteryear, players like the Charlie Daniels Band.

I enjoyed the overall tune and the chorus of the song which sings, “No Ace in the Hole only Jokers on your side.. You’ve got more to lose than just your pride.” The song was written by Cleto Cordero, Jason Albers and Reid Dillon.

Since his career beginnings I have admired Cleto as a songwriter. Cleto Cordero is the lead singer and primary songwriter of the band Flatland Cavalry. I really got heavy into Cleto’s style of writing last year, while in the middle of the Pandemic, I fell in love with the band the Panhandlers. The Panhandlers is a super group made up of Texas Native singer/songwriters. Besides Flatland Cavalry’s Cleto Cordero, the other members of the Panhandlers are Josh Abbott, John Baumann, and William Clark Green.

Besides Cleto Cordero, I have been unfamiliar with these other writers of “No Ace in the Hole,” Jason Albers and Reid Dillon. Albers is the drummer; Dillon is the guitarist for Flatland Cavalry. I recently read that these three have a long history of playing and making songs together. Cordero and Albers began playing together in my own hometown of Midland, Texas while the two were still in Jr. High. Later the two would become roommates attending the local junior college, Midland College. Flatland Cavalry really began to take shape after the two moved to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University in 2012. Cordero and Albers met Reid Dillon in 2014 and he has been a staple member of their band since.  

No Ace In The Hole” is Flatland Cavalry’s latest single.  The songs official release as a single was this morning at Midnight. Flatland Cavalry fans are filled with anticipation of a new album that comes out next month. Previously in preparation of the album Flatland has released singles “Some Things Never Change” and “Gettin’ By.”

Pancho.

February 14 2021

How Lucky

At midnight last night, Kaitlin Butts newest single dropped. “How Lucky am I” is out now.

Her Twitter feed yesterday read:

Five years ago today, I kissed @cletocordero on the cheek while telling a story. I’ll never forget the look on his face and him saying..”you wanna try that again?”

“How Lucky Am I” is for him & he doesn’t know I’m putting it out yet bc I blocked myself on all of his socials Lol

I suppose that the word is out today, Valentine’s 2021. Butts sings , “How Lucky am I,” for Cleto Cordero.

Just in case you didn’t already know you should. Cleto Cordero is the front man and primary songwriter of Lubbock, Texas based, Flatland Calvary. Cleto is also a member of my current favorite Texas supergroup, the Panhandlers. Cleto was raised in my hometown of Midland, Texas before moving to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University and pursue his musical career. In my opinion, he is one of the most powerful songwriters in Texas country music today.

Cleto Cordero and Kaitlin Butts were married last October. Kaitlin is a frequent collaborator with Flatland Calvary and often can be seen with them at their live shows.

Kaitlin Butts is a Tulsa, Oklahoma native. She is a skilled and accomplished songwriter. Her music has become popular in the Texas and Red Dirt Scene in the past few years. She is someone to be watching as I know she is going to become more popular than she already is.

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”

Victor Hugo

“In spite of ourselves,

We’ll end up a’sittin’ on a rainbow,

Against all odds

Honey, we’re the big door prize.”  –  JOHN PRINE

For Pinkie and I being married couple it was our first Valentine’s Day together in matrimony. Cordero got a song for Valentine’s day. I got Body Wash and Cologne. Is Pinkie trying to tell me something? Seriously, I appreciate it just the same. I know she loves me and I know that I love her. I am glad I found someone to love and who is strong enough to put up with my doo doo on a daily basis. Being loved is the greatest gift of all. I know I have found that perfect person and I know we will go far. I hope for many more Valentine’s days that we get to spend as husband and wife.

Happy Valentine’s Day to All.

How Lucky Am I?

Pancho.

December 29 2020

Songs about home

The Panhandlers is my favorite musical group of 2020.

Four seasoned Texas Country musicians who make up this group from the flatlands of West Texas, William Clark Green, Cleto Cordero, Josh Abbott and John Baumann. All four of them make great music by themselves but the four of them together is a phenomenal sound.

My current favorite song is “West Texas in My Eye.” I cant stop hearing this rolling around in my head!

Where the Llano Estacado rises up into the sky I ain’t crying that’s West Texas in my eye

There entire debut album is world class, and the entire album is themed around my home. West Texas.

My pick for album of the year is The Panhandlers.

There is talk of a second album coming out in 2021.

Josh Abbott tweeted today:

“Covid ruined our entire debut tour”

Josh Abbott from Twitter

The band is planning shows in Lubbock, Amarillo, El Paso, Marfa, and Alpine at some point.

I hope I can catch up with them live sometime sooner than later.

This Covid has got to pass!

Sunny 69 degree day here at home today. There is a forecast of snow tomorrow night. I have always heard “If you don’t like the weather in West Texas wait a minute and it will change.”

Maybe the snow will run the Covid to the ground! The West Texas sunshine sure hasn’t beat it. Keep your heads up and keep moving forward. With the vaccines and the new medical treatments I know we are going to beat this thing!

I ain’t crying that’s West Texas in my eye.

Pancho